Position Summary

Descriptive Title

Agent, Extension Specialist

Position Description

University of Maryland Extension seeks a highly motivated and knowledgeable individual to conduct applied research, develop educational programs, and engage in community outreach initiatives aimed at teaching and promoting the ecological benefits and use of native plant species in diverse landscapes. The Specialist will also be part of the leadership team responsible for implementing the Maryland Native Plants Program (along with the Maryland Department of Agriculture (MDA) and the Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR).

Position Responsibilities:

– Assist UME in fulfilling educational and professional training responsibilities related to the Maryland Native Plants Program (MNPP).
– Provide input and expertise to MDA in the development and maintenance of the procedures and content of the MNPP Commercial Maryland Native Plant List and provide input and expertise to MDA on the development and maintenance of the procedures and content of the MNPP List of Certified Maryland Native Plant Growers and Retailers.
– Develop and implement innovative Extension, applied research, and outreach programs to educate homeowners, commercial and consumer horticulture interests, and the public on the importance, benefits, and availability of native plants.
– Train UME Master Gardeners and field faculty and serve as faculty lead for the native plants sub-program of the UME Master Gardener Program
– Conduct needs assessments to identify research and education program priorities of targeted audiences. The Extension Specialist will also be responsible for working collaboratively to increase the visibility and reach of UME programs through educational programming designed to meet the needs of diverse audiences that involve scientific results and solutions as well as local ecological knowledge.
– Collaborate with internal and external partners and stakeholders to design, develop, deliver, and evaluate programs that engages participants in a learning environment and encourages adoption of research-based information in decision-making.
– Interpret and disseminate the latest research findings using a variety of delivery and communication strategies appropriate for intended target audiences including, but not limited to, workshops, classes, demonstration projects, webcasts, social media, publications, mass media, and community coalitions.
– Use entrepreneurial practices to secure grants, contracts, program fees, partnerships, and sponsorships to build program capacity.

The Extension Specialist represents UME and the University of Maryland, College Park (UMD). The position ensures that educational programming aligns with UME’s strategic plan and plan of work, especially as they relate to the implementation of federal initiatives. The faculty member will be on track for tenure and promotion to a higher rank in accordance with UMD policy and UME tenure guidelines within the defined timeframe. Perform teaching, scholarship, and service requirements of a University of Maryland faculty member. This tenure-track position requires documented accomplishments in research, teaching, and service.

The individual reports to the Assistant Director, Environmental, Natural Resources, and Sea Grant Programs, in carrying out these duties.

Salary will be commensurate with experience: Master’s Base: $62,255; Ph.D. Base: $74,354. The University of Maryland offers an extensive benefits package which includes tuition remission.

Required Qualifications

● A Master’s degree or equivalent in Ecology, Environmental Science, Horticulture, Botany, Urban Forestry, or a related field. ● Demonstrated expertise in the ecology and use and management of Maryland or mid-Atlantic native plants in diverse landscapes. ● Background in applied research and Extension. ● Experience in designing and implementing educational programs and workshops for diverse audiences, including homeowners, agencies, NGOs, and community groups with particular emphasis on traditionally under-served and BIPOC stakeholders. ● Proven ability to collaborate effectively with interdisciplinary teams, stakeholders, and government agencies to address complex environmental challenges related to native plants. ● Strong communication skills, including the ability to publish scholarly articles, deliver presentations at professional conferences, and engage with the media to communicate scientific findings and native plant messages effectively. ● A track record of securing external funding through competitive grants or other funding sources to support research and extension activities is highly desirable.

Preferred Qualifications

● A Ph.D. in Ecology, Environmental Science, Horticulture, Botany, Urban Forestry, or a related field with a focus on Maryland or mid-Atlantic native plants and landscapes. ● Demonstrated ability to develop outreach programming that assists stakeholders in making research-based decisions. ● Evidence of peer-reviewed journal articles and Extension publications. ● Demonstrated experience in grant writing and obtaining extramural funding. ● Demonstrated skills to effectively use electronic and social media to communicate technical information. ● Experience working with graduate students is desirable. ● Preference will be given to individuals with experience working with diverse audiences and all socioeconomic levels.

Other Requirements

The physical demands described here are representative of those that must be met by an employee to successfully perform the essential functions of this job. • This position frequently presents information through vocal and written communication to individuals of various ages, socio-economic, and educational backgrounds. • A routine part of this position's responsibilities would be to transport materials to and from field research plots and teaching/event locations, including loading and unloading the vehicle. The employee will frequently lift and/or move items weighing up to 20 pounds. Set up and teardown of research machinery, project displays, tables, and chairs will be necessary at many teaching sites. • This position requires the employee to work outdoors conducting field research, delivering programs, and teaching at events. This may occur during very hot and/or inclement weather. • Visual acuity is required for preparing and analyzing written or computer data and presentations.

Driver’s license or alternate transportation required?

yes

Application Instructions

All candidates must apply online at https://ejobs.umd.edu/postings/118849. A complete application packet includes a cover letter, resume or CV, copies of transcripts, and three professional references, including name, mailing address, telephone number, and e-mail address.

Equal Employer Statement(s)

The University of Maryland, College Park, an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer, complies with all applicable federal and state laws and regulations regarding nondiscrimination and affirmative action; all qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment. The University is committed to a policy of equal opportunity for all persons and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, national origin, physical or mental disability, protected veteran status, age, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, creed, marital status, political affiliation, personal appearance, or on the basis of rights secured by the First Amendment, in all aspects of employment, educational programs and activities, and admissions

About University of Maryland Extension

University of Maryland is a land-grant institution with a three-part mission of teaching, research, and service. The campus is located in College Park, Maryland. University of Maryland Extension (UME) reaches all parts of Maryland with an office in 23 counties and the city of Baltimore.

Founded in 1856, University of Maryland, College Park is the state’s flagship institution. Our 1,250-acre College Park campus is just minutes away from Washington, D.C., and the nexus of the nation’s legislative, executive, and judicial centers of power. This unique proximity to business and technology leaders, federal departments and agencies, and a myriad of research entities, embassies, think tanks, cultural centers, and non-profit organizations is simply unparalleled. Synergistic opportunities for our faculty and students abound and are virtually limitless in the nation’s capital and surrounding areas. The University is committed to attracting and retaining outstanding and diverse faculty and staff that will enhance our stature of preeminence in our three missions of teaching, scholarship, and full engagement in our community, the state of Maryland, and in the world.